Chip Kidd, “…’the closest thing to a rock star’ in graphic design”, according to USA Today, gave a presentation at the Days Inn last night to a packed room. A 1986 Penn State graduate, Kidd is an award-winning graphic designer, known nationally for his work, most notably, the design of the Jurassic Park logo.
Originally brought in to present in the Schlow Library by the Friends of Schlow Library group, the location was changed in order to fit more people. Kidd joked at the beginning of his lecture, “I was worried I was going to outnumber you… It’s happened,” breaking the ice and causing the room to erupt with laughter.
From there, Kidd took the audience on an informative and often humorous journey through his graphic design career, starting with his time at Penn State through what he’s doing presently, which has included authoring a Batman Graphic Novel and receiving the National Design Award for Communications.
“Try, Fail, Try Again, Fail Better!” was Kidd’s advice for the audience, borrowed from a famous Samuel Beckett quote, and this has been Kidd’s mantra throughout his career. Sharing small anecdotal stories of the countless designs he’s completed, Kidd kept the audience engaged and laughing during his hour-long lecture, and received hefty applause at the conclusion of his talk.
As a graphic designer myself, it was entertaining to hear Kidd talk about his methods, creative processes, and ways of overcoming challenges in every stage of the design process. I had been a fan of his ever since seeing his TED talk online, and Kidd was just as engaging and humorous live.
Below is Kidd’s 2012 TED talk, which should give you a glimpse into his mind and his unique style of presenting. If you’d like more information on Chip, check out his website, and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for another appearance in State College in the coming years.